A $17.1 million judgment was entered on October 13, 2004, for a Nebraska group against United Producers, Inc., (“UPI”) an Ohio corporation, in U.S. District Court, Omaha.
The group, headed by G.E. Cattle Company, Norfolk, Nebraska, sustained large losses when George L. Young, now a convicted criminal, swindled money from them.
Young, who was on UPI’s payroll and associated with both UPI and a subsidiary, has gone through bankruptcy.
Domina Law pc sued UPI for the group. The suit, filed in October, 2001, resulted in a six day jury trial held in September, 2004, and yielded a jury verdict for more than $15 million. Immediate post-verdict motions requested judgment be enhanced to $17.064 million to include pre-judgment interest. The Defense moved to dismiss the jury’s verdict.
U.S. District Court Judge Lyle Strom rejected the defense’s arguments, entered judgment, and awarded pre-judgment interest in his October 13, 2004 opinion.
The case’s conclusion represents “a major step toward helping Northeast Nebraskans who sustained huge losses recovers some of what was theirs,” David A. Domina said. Domina, assisted by Domina Law pc paraprofessional Kim Weber, filed, discovered and tried the case, asserting three legal theories: (1) breach of contract, (2) conversion, and (3) violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act, 7 USC § 192, by failing to account for cattle proceeds for purchased livestock.
The jury, and the trial court, agreed with Domina on all three theories.
“We have indicated our willingness to work with UPI at a payment plan so the coop can get back to its real business, serve its members, and pay its obligations,” Domina said. But, he noted the coop has been completely silent on how it intends to deal with the judgment. Domina concluded “management weaknesses yielded this judgment. Without knowing what’s going on there, but being aware of the deafening silence, it certainly seems as though those weaknesses may be ongoing.”
October 28, 2004
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